Former Open Champ Leads in Portugal

By Sports NetworkApril 2, 2005, 5:00 pm
European TourALGARVE, Portugal -- Paul Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champion, fired a 5-under 66 on Saturday to take the lead during the suspended third round of the Estoril Open de Portugal. He stands at 11-under-par 202 as play was called for darkness.
Steady rain fell all day Saturday and caused three weather-related delays.
The first suspension lasted 90 minutes and that happened because the greens were too water-logged. The next stoppage came a little more than two hours later when more storms came through, but they made it back out to the course. The third delay was much briefer than the other two and the rain persisted, but grounds crew members needed some time to fix greens.
In all, the three suspensions lasted approximately three hours. The six remaining players will return to Quinta da Marinha Oitavos Golfe Sunday morning to polish off the third round.
Barry Lane, one of those six golfers, is 3 under par on his round and is alone in second place at 10 under par. His ball is in the 16th fairway waiting for him on Sunday morning.
Paul Broadhurst and Jose-Filipe Lima, the second-round co-leaders, are 1 under and share third place at minus-9. They are playing in the same group as Lane.
Lawrie began the third round in a tie for sixth place, two shots out of the lead. He ran home a 20-foot birdie putt at the third, then drained an uphill 7-footer for birdie at the next to grab a share of the lead.
He never relinquished his spot atop the leaderboard on Saturday. Lawrie two-putted for birdie at the seventh and added another at No. 10. The former holder of the claret jug recorded back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14, then traded a bogey and a birdie over his next two holes.
At the 17th, Lawrie's approach was headed for a bush, but he caught something of a good break. His ball landed in a cart so he was given a free drop. Lawrie chipped on to the green, but two-putted for a bogey.
Things could have been just as bad on 18. Lawrie had little light and missed the green with his second. He pitched to a foot and tapped in for a par to polish off his 66.
'I played nicely again today, I was very solid and apart from hitting the wrong club at the 17th,' said Lawrie. 'It was a really good day and it was good to finish given the fading light.'
Lawrie's last three victories on the European Tour have a common theme - bad weather. His British Open title at Carnoustie, the dunhill links championship in 2001 and the Wales Open in 2002 were all contested during inclement weather.
'I can't deny that I do play well in bad conditions,' said Lawrie, who represented Europe in the 1999 Ryder Cup. 'It's pretty bad back home half the time so I just stand up there and keep playing. It doesn't bother me at all be it a nice day or a horrible day. You have to just try and not let it affect you.'
Lane overcame a bogey at the first with four birdies in a seven-hole span around the turn. He bogeyed the 12th, but birdied No. 14 to get within one of Lawrie.
Broadhurst and Lima started very poorly on Saturday. Broadhurst, who has not won since 1995, tallied back-to-back bogeys at three and four, but mixed four birdies and a bogey the rest of the way.
Lima lost his drive at one out of bounds, then made a mess of the hole when he returned to the tee. He left with a triple-bogey seven, but rebounded. Lima, who is playing his first season after taking the nationality of his Portuguese parents, recorded six birdies and two bogeys the rest of the way.
Both Broadhurst and Lima were one shot down until they both bogeyed 15.
Stephen Dodd (70) and Alastair Forsyth (69) share fifth place at 6-under-par 207. Ignacio Garrido (71), Jonathan Lomas (69) and Richard Sterne (70) are tied for seventh at minus-5.
Neil Cheetham (71), Niclas Fasth (68) and Stephen Scahill (72) are knotted at 4-under-par 209. Ian Garbutt is 2 over in his third round, but is 4 under for the championship with one hole left.
Related Links:
  • TGC Airtimes
  • Leaderboard - Estoril Open
  • Full Coverage - Estoril Open
  • Getty Images

    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

    Getty Images

    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

    Getty Images

    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

    Getty Images

    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.